Register a SA Forums Account here!
JOINING THE SA FORUMS WILL REMOVE THIS BIG AD, THE ANNOYING UNDERLINED ADS, AND STUPID INTERSTITIAL ADS!!!

You can: log in, read the tech support FAQ, or request your lost password. This dumb message (and those ads) will appear on every screen until you register! Get rid of this crap by registering your own SA Forums Account and joining roughly 150,000 Goons, for the one-time price of $9.95! We charge money because it costs us money per month for bills, and since we don't believe in showing ads to our users, we try to make the money back through forum registrations.
 
  • Post
  • Reply
Mors Rattus
Oct 25, 2007

FATAL & Friends
Walls of Text
#1 Builder
2014-2018



Hellas: Worlds of Sun and Stone



Hoseidon, the Sailor is the god of sailing, piloting, navigation, survival, flying, risk-avoidance and predictability. He is forever at the stern of a great starship, leading the way to his destination, no matter what happens around him. Some say he does not move, but the universe instead moves around him to bring him where wants to be. He never speaks, commanding solely by his presence and confidence. He is the god with the most power over Slipspace, and it is often said that he resides within it. His symbols are the star, the wheel, the sphere, waves and horses. His home system is Troizenos and his Temple Moon is Mykenai.

Powers granted by Hoseidon are:
  • Know the Sea (Glory 0+): You can sense the flow of seas, vacuum and Slipspace tides. You get a bonus to your choice of Piloting or Navigation.
  • Full Sails (Glory 30+): You are unrivaled in command of a ship. Any vehlcle you drive or pilot has its SPD boosted. In Slipspace, you also boost the power of your ship's Slipspace drive.
  • Pilot of the Wine Dark Void (Glory 60+): You get a bonus to Piloting, Drive and Navigation rolls, and a bonus to resisting Lethe in Slipspace.
  • Trident of Rulership (Glory 100+): Hoseidon grants you a golden trident. While you display it, you get a bonus to all social rolls, and it is a good weapon. Nereids, Sirens, Krakens and all sea creatures and creatures of the Panthalassa know primally that you are divinely favored by Hoseidon and suffer a penalty to all rolls and damage against you. Further, the trident grants you a bonus to Leadership rolls at sea or in Slipspace.
  • Sea Legs (Glory 150+): While in space, Slipspace or water, you have no equal. Aboard a ship or in zero-g, you get a bonus to DEX and movement speed. In Slipspace, you may 'swim' in the stream as if born there, with a movement based on your SPD.
  • The Sea's Soothing Whisper (Glory 200+): You may calm Slipspace torms with a word, lowering their intensity based on your CHA. If you choose, you may also whip local Slipspace into a localized fury when you stand exposed to it by shouting curses, creating a storm. In both cases, duration is based on WIL.
  • Sea Lord (Glory 250+): While in Slipspace or upon the seas, your power is absolute.y You may wrap yourself in water or Aether, boosting your STR and gaining temporary HP based on your CHA.
  • Master of the Wine-Dark Sea (Glory 275+): You may create a clear and safe path through any large body of water, with length, duration and width based on your WIL. Further, you may open a path into Slipspace several times a day without a drive, using only your will. This opens a rift large enough for a transport ship to enter or exit.
  • The Call of the Deep (Glory 300): A voice calls to oyu in Slipspace, beckoning you. You wil ltake your ship further and further each time you make a voyage, until at last you find the source. Every trip will be much quicker than normal, but also exceptionally dangerous. You must make a Piloting roll each trip. EIf you ever get a crit, you find the voice and sail into Hoseidon's home, never to be seen again. Any others aboard your ship at the time find themselves at their destination, safe but always near the largest body of water nearby, no matter what that is in context - an ocean or a pool in the water reclamation plant of a station.

Not all heroes worship and are favored by a god. Certainly, they acknowledge that the gods exist, but these Agnostics believe in only their own self and will. They have no patron god to give them gifts, but instead better themselves and gain competence and confidence.

Powers gained by Agnostics are:
  • Self Improvement (Glory 30+): You get a talent of your choice.
  • Attribute Increase (Glory 60+): You get +1 to an attribute of your choice.
  • Self Improvement (Glory 90+): You get a talent of your choice.
  • Attribute Increase (Glory 120+): You get +1 to an attribute of your choice.
  • Self Improvement (Glory 150+): You get a talent of your choice.
  • Attribute Increase (Glory 180+): You get +1 to an attribute of your choice.
  • Second Chance (Glory 200+): Several times per session, you may reroll a critical failure.
  • Mind Over Matter (Glory 230+): When you reach 0 HP, you may remain conscious for a number of rounds based on your WIL.
  • Fortune! (Glory 250+): You may alter probability around yourself, allowing you to reroll the result of any die roll, made by you or anyone else, several times per week.
  • Master of My Own Destiny! (Glory 300): You are a living god and are compelled to travel to the Olympos star cluster. This is your last great journey, and when you arrive, you will vanish entirely.

There are two gods who are almost universally not worshipped, but acknowledged to exist. For the most part, they do not choose people and offer no powers to most. That said, the other books do cover them and the powers they would grant to a hero they truly loved.

Aionisia, the Wanderer is the goddess of aimlessness, foolishness, gypsies, restlessness, procrastination and the unborn. She is always portrayed as a tall, willowy travelr, naked but for translucent silk robes that move about constantly, tempting but never truly revealing. Those that see her are driven to try to touch her, but she always eludes them, unable to be captured or understood. The wise avoid her, but even the wisest will daydream, and that is where she lives. Her symbols are the leaf on the wind and the fluttering cloth. She is described in more detail The Wine Dark Void.

Hadon, the Sleeper is the god of death, the afterlife, corpses, stillness, finality and inevitability. He is a grim and silent god, portrayed as a very short and entirely faceless Hellene, with no eyes, nose or mouth. He moves soundlessly, with outstretched arms to embrace and kill any who meet him. However, he is not so much feared as expected, for everyone dies. Those who flee his embrace do so not out of fear but because they desire to do more before they die. His symbol is the featureless face. He is described in more detail in Princes of the Universe.

Gods can do many things, but there are a number of things that will never, ever do. First, gods never manifest to more than one person at a time. They can appear simultaneously to multiple people, but each person will have a unique experience. Second, gods almost never appear in 'godly' form - rather, they inhabit someone or something else, like a statue, an animal, a reflection or even a disembodied voice. Third, gods will never ignore a prayer from a favorite follower. Fourth, gods will never directly kill a follower they are upset with. Fifth, gods will never directly affect their followers' enemies. They may grant you some of their might, but will never strike anyone down for you. Fonally, gods will never defy fate. All living things have a fate, and no god will ever interfere with that.

The Twelve are all worshipped equally and given equal respect, and no Hellene truly worships any single god alone, though they may favor or identify with one. There is no animosity based on religious views among the Hellenes, for the most part, and only true zealots will focus on one god to the expense of the others. Agnostics and even atheists are given understanding and some measure of tolerance, though they may be seen as fools or heathens.

Votives can be performed to gain divine favor in the future or to make up for a transgression or crime. These are sacrificial offerings of just about any kind, kept on display in the god's sanctuary or temple for a period before being ritually discarded or given to a charity by the priests. Sacrifices are similar gifts, but typically in the form of bloodless offerings of food or, in some locations, blood offerings of prize animals or even people. Sacrifices, along votives, can not be reclaimed or discarded, as they are always ritually destroyed in some manner - burning, vaporizing, hurling into a star. Sacrifices and votives can be performed by PCs to gain Hero Points from the gods or, if performed at an appropriate Temple Moon, to gain one-time use of a divine gift.

Heroes may also blaspheme against the gods, cursing them out of a feeling of abandonment or insult. If a god hears this curse, they may act to punish the PC in some way - never directly agcting against them, but always making their life more difficult until the PC atones in some manner. If cursed by the god that normally favors them, a PC loses all of their divine gifts. However, any cursing of the gods grants Hero Points to a PC, as a reward for their hubristic action. These points must be used by the end of the adventure or they are lost. Agnostics cannot receive this bonus.

Sometimes, a hero can also receive benefits from a god that is not their patron. This requires a plea to the god they want a divine gift from, trying to persuade them to help with a CHA or Influence roll. If successful, the god may offer a single divine gift, always at least two levels lower than the hero's current Glory. However, any critical failure on this roll offends the petitioned god and earns a Fate point. After you receive a god's favor, it is very important to make an offering of some kind in thanks. Further, your patron god may become upset or offended by the call for another god's aid and cut off communication or even your powers until appeased with gifts or sacrifices.

PCs may feel so passionate about something that they will take an oath on a god's name. This is not done trivially, and the gods listen for such oaths. These are the heaviest of burdens, and so they are sworn only in true moments of passion. A sworn oath is an Ambition defined by player and GM, with a small and attainable goal. An oath must be sworn to an appropriate god, and the PC chooses one skill at the time of swearing, gaining a bonus to that skill in pursuit of the oath. When not pursuing the oath, however, the bonus becomes an equal penalty. The oath mustb e something you can do alone, without help, and if you are helped, you lose the bonus. If you fail the oath, you lose 20 Glory and gain a Fate point from the wrath of the gods. If you complete the oath, you gain 5 Glory. Trivial oaths anger the gods, however, and even just swearing one will lose 10 Glory.

Next time: Temples and Temple Moons

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Doresh
Jan 7, 2015


Good to see Talislanta being covered here. 4th edition is pretty nifty.

Alien Rope Burn posted:

It's got the odd bit where it wants to be a "one power origin" world but then just seems to throw in tons of poo poo that doesn't adhere to that origin, then clawhammers in crrrazy poo poo to justify it all. Basically it wants to be both a "one power origin" world at times and a traditional "anything goes" comics world and flipflops between the two whenever he feels like it.

It's a bit all over the place, with especially the whole occult and heaven/hell stuff feeling a bit odd. I guess the one power origin wasn't compelling enough for the writers?

I wonder how this would look as an alternative Double Cross setting...

Doresh fucked around with this message at 21:38 on Aug 1, 2016

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Things got weird in 1943 when, in addition to killing Hitler, Superior lost control and went completely Renegade on the innocent citizens of Germany, killing thousands before a fleet of British bombers that turned a square mile of Berlin into scorched earth to kill him.

theironjef
Aug 11, 2009

The archmage of unexpected stinks.



So I'm pretty sure that this has also been covered in here, so it's a good thing I don't care about that(Especially since our last care package from listeners had Talislanta 4e, Brave New World, and Godlike in it)! Anyway, here's Testament D20: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era, which is right off the bad a bad sale, since it terminates pre-Jesus! I wanted to play as a singing dancing Judas, dammit!

Adnachiel
Oct 21, 2012




Part 5: Dueling

Dueling is a tradition practiced by witches from “important” magical families and old fashioned practitioners in the American South, Europe, and Asia. It’s related to the concept of southern civility, and that’s how it’s relevant to this supplement and has an appendix devoted to rules for it.

When witches decide to duel, it’s a big deal. Dueling should only be done if a witch’s abilities, bravery, or family have been insulted; someone is disrespecting their social station; or they’ve been assaulted with malicious magic. (At that point, would anyone really bother with formalities and not just turn them into something?) What happens if someone decides to duel for some other reason? Who knows. They're probably socially shunned. The WWC doesn’t like dueling, but most witches don’t give a poo poo and they don’t bother coming down too hard on it, as usual.

To declare a duel, the offended witch says “I demand satisfaction” or “I call challenge on you” and then states the reason why they’re calling the duel. The defending party has the choice to either accept the challenge or apologize “in a manner the witch giving the challenge finds acceptable”. So the offending party can be an rear end in a top hat and just make the defendant accept regardless. Once they accept, the two agree on a time, a place, and the win conditions of the duel, as well as one additional rule each. Some try to delay the duel for years, but this is considered a cowardly move. The most common win conditions include whoever is the first to cast a spell on their opponent, until someone is incapacitated, until someone gives up, or until someone is dead. Additional rules can be things like no using wands, no using allies, or no using Alteration magic. Duel details can also be determined by the witches’ partners or “seconds”, as is usually done by more prominent families.

Thankfully, most duels never get past the planning stages, as witches are all smart and, once both parties have calmed down, realize that whatever they were fighting about was stupid anyway, especially if it’s a duel to the death.

The dueling area has marked boundaries. Anyone who leaves the dueling area automatically loses and is considered a coward. Before the duel starts, the offended party can ask for an apology. If the defendant refuses, the neutral officiant gets them ready to start.

Duels can and do happen in magical schools and among underage witches. Guardians of the participants can declare duels satisfied and demand that the stakes be bumped down to non-lethal ones if the kids come to their senses during the planning stages. Trinity Stone is fine with dueling and treats them as friendly competitions, even if the participants don’t see it that way. School duels can only be lethal if they are done behind the staff’s backs.

It is also possible to challenge mundanes and other otherkin to duels. Prominent family witches will usually give a mundane a chance to accept the duel before they just start turning them into poo poo or blowing them up, though most refuse. No common reason is given, but it’s probably because most people realize how one-sided the fight is. It’s like a grown adult asking a baby if it wants to fight back before they start beating it to death. Otherkin have an easier time dueling. Dueling Immortals is not advised since they’re usually faster and can just cut their opponent in half, and thus are more likely to win against a witch. Some witches are sour grapes about this and use the excuse that Immortal fighting styles are “uncouth” to avoid dueling them.

In game terms, a Will roll determines whether a character is the offensive or defensive party in a duel. The highest roll gets to decide who they are first. Offensive duelists get +1 Reflex for initiative, +1 to Casting rolls to attack, and +1 to their spell damage. Defensive duelists get +1 to defensive spells and Spell Breaker rolls and ignore a point of damage. Combat proceeds as usual going by Reflex. At the end of the round, the characters’ Will dies are rolled again and each character determines their position and Footing, which gives them bonuses during the next round.

The types of Footings include

Advance: Next attack sends the opponent back a foot.

Intimidating Advance: Triggers a Social roll. Failing it gives the opponent a -1 to all of their rolls for the round.

Retreat: Spells that hit the character are considered to be 1 MTR lower in terms of damage and duration.

Feinting Retreat: Triggers a Social vs Mind roll. If the retreating character wins, they ignore a point of damage and get a +1 to their next Casting roll.

A duel is considered won in-game when both witches are out of health or zap, one person is physically incapacitated, or one person gives up. Schools and dueling halls, which are just now mentioned as being a thing, use a point system. The first person to 10 wins. Injuring an opponent with a spell is worth more points than incapacitating them (2 versus 1) and retreating subtracts a point from your score.

And that’s it for this book.

Next Book: Magical Minutia #5: Mortals: Seekers of Truth, wherein Channel M tries to cater to everyone who wants to play a mortal who doesn’t completely suck in this setting.

Adnachiel fucked around with this message at 17:02 on Aug 2, 2016

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


I feel like writing a bit more, so before going on to other nations, I'd like to give my personal thoughts on both the Avoirdupois and what we're in for with the rest of Calabria in Ironclaw

I was remarking to one of my players the other day that what I like about Ironclaw's setting writing is that there's a lot of setting, but almost no metaplot. The Avoirdupois are a great example of this. At every major historical junction, like the conversion of King Etienne, you're offered several possible explanations that are all plausible and aren't even necessarily mutually exclusive (that he had a legitimate conversion experience, that he was manipulated by sorcery and clever diplomacy, or that this was a peace accord that allowed both sides to save face and end a grinding war that was hurting both of them, or that it could even be all three). Their social structure acknowledges that for all of its seeming unity, there are still plenty of cracks and the old system is beginning to show its flaws. The question is, will it triumph before it becomes outdated? Will it reform? Will it break under its contradictions and pressures? A game that is about the growing pains of a new era of history needs a lot of history behind it, but it generally manages to do it while leaving plenty of room for a GM to write their own interpretations of events and players to join in.

The history and standing social structures are also extremely important to the stated main theme of the game: Ironclaw is a game about people who don't fit into the last era, at least ostensibly. The PCs are meant to be the educated commoners, the up and coming theologians, scientists, wizards, and officers who are too talented for conservative elements in society to ignore, lest their enemies get hold of them first. At every nation, the question is 'How will we change, and how should we change'. The Avoirdupois answer that they shouldn't, because they're in a comfortable place with a huge army, a large and stable kingdom, and designs to crush the other houses through open warfare and take power to found a new Calabrian empire. They don't think they need to change because they're currently on top. Yet you can see where things are already starting to break down, and it isn't solely in a lack of pike and shot or industry. The Avoirdupois government, in its current form, relies entirely on educated knights and clergy (who are already subject to their own third legal codes and only internal review) for its functionaries and officials, and they've shut social advancement and new blood out of the government entirely outside of clergy. They simply might not be able to keep up with the demands of administration and commerce if they stick to their current policy, or risk such heavy reliance on the church that it can dictate politics independent of the king. Their government, as depicted, feels like unalloyed iron: Strong, seemingly sturdy, but brittle. A war that kills enough of their secular educated class, with no easy way to incorporate new titles and raise new nobles, could shatter their government. Meanwhile, they make a good origin for PCs because their stubborn conservatism leaves a lot of talented people on the table. Either you will run into individual lords who will tolerate the PCs 'under the table' or PCs are likely to be people of talent who decided to look for a land that would actually reward it. In a game about change, you need some forces that resist it, and the Avoirdupois fill that role very nicely. Meanwhile, they contrast well with the other stubborn peoples of the setting, the Doloreaux (who very much want to remain traditionalist, even to the point of maintaining a pagan faith, but whose situation is so desperate they have to embrace modernization down other paths as is) and the Phelan (who are mostly just not that important to politics, or at least, not important enough to be worth the effort of declaring war on and trying to root out a bunch of nature wizards and forest-dwelling guerilla fighters with strange primal magic powers because another house will probably hit you in the flank while you do this). The Avoirdupois are conservative *because* the status quo is great for them.

In general, the reason I want to show Ironclaw to people is I think it's a great example of a game that's gritty and low fantasy without being grimdark. The world is full of injustice, yes, but you're explicitly cast as people who can do something about it. Everywhere you look in the setting, things are changing and moving. There's no suggestion the world is doomed, just that it's not going to look like it does now in the next 50 years. You play as relatively grounded people who are driven by ambition, justice, ethics, morals, or opportunity to dive into a changing world and make a difference.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 17:44 on Aug 2, 2016

Alien Rope Burn
Dec 4, 2004

I wanna be a saikyo HERO!


theironjef posted:

So I'm pretty sure that this has also been covered in here, so it's a good thing I don't care about that(Especially since our last care package from listeners had Talislanta 4e, Brave New World, and Godlike in it)! Anyway, here's Testament D20: Roleplaying in the Biblical Era, which is right off the bad a bad sale, since it terminates pre-Jesus! I wanted to play as a singing dancing Judas, dammit!

Maybe you got the copy I sold a few years back!

(Probably not.)

What's funny is that Green Ronin was on of the better d20 publishers of the boom. Yes, Bastards & Bloodlines was the high point and it's all downhill from there.

Default Settings
May 29, 2001

Keep your 'lectric eye on me, babe

I've been asked by a friend to run a game that "doesn't involve non-violent communication, which is making me aggressive" (she's currently studying to be a teacher).

So I wondered: Which is the most brutal, most graphically violent pen-and-paper RPG* you guys know?





* don't even mention loving FATAL

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Default Settings posted:

I've been asked by a friend to run a game that "doesn't involve non-violent communication, which is making me aggressive" (she's currently studying to be a teacher).

So I wondered: Which is the most brutal, most graphically violent pen-and-paper RPG* you guys know?





* don't even mention loving FATAL

As flawed as it is, the 40k RPGs have the possibility of blowing someone up so hard that their bone fragments kill the man next to them.

Simian_Prime
Nov 6, 2011

When they passed out body parts in the comics today, I got Cathy's nose and Dick Tracy's private parts.

If you're looking for a fun, non-stop combat & action RPG, I recommend Feng Shui 2.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Night10194 posted:

As flawed as it is, the 40k RPGs have the possibility of blowing someone up so hard that their bone fragments kill the man next to them.
Wasn't there an exploit in Dark Heresy where hey, if you can't hit the boss monster, shoot the minions standing next to him with energy weapons so they'll explode like grenades? Sort of a bag-of-rats trick for 40k.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Halloween Jack posted:

Wasn't there an exploit in Dark Heresy where hey, if you can't hit the boss monster, shoot the minions standing next to him with energy weapons so they'll explode like grenades? Sort of a bag-of-rats trick for 40k.

Yes, overkills with energy weapons will set off EVERY grenade the enemy is carrying as if it was an artillery shell.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Oh, I thought the crit tables for energy weapons had a high likelihood of turning the enemy himself into a grenade.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


That can also happen. The 40k RPGs are not especially well made mechanically, probably a legacy of the system not originally being FFG's system and FFG having a very different design philosophy from the people who made the original, but being stuck with it.

I'm in the minority in thinking they actually got worse as the series progressed because the patches and fixes and attempts to kinda make it work just end up with this tortured mess, for me.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Default Settings posted:

I've been asked by a friend to run a game that "doesn't involve non-violent communication, which is making me aggressive" (she's currently studying to be a teacher).

So I wondered: Which is the most brutal, most graphically violent pen-and-paper RPG* you guys know?





* don't even mention loving FATAL

Hollowpoint, Killshot and One Last Job. Hollowpoint is all about being bad people doing bad things to other bad people (for the most part), the other two I do not own but OLJ is revolves around the group pulling off one last job so they can retire with everything going potentially haywire. 3:16 and Fiasco might work as well.

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



Default Settings posted:

I've been asked by a friend to run a game that "doesn't involve non-violent communication, which is making me aggressive" (she's currently studying to be a teacher).

So I wondered: Which is the most brutal, most graphically violent pen-and-paper RPG* you guys know?





* don't even mention loving FATAL

Kurieg
Jul 19, 2012






Halloween Jack posted:

Oh, I thought the crit tables for energy weapons had a high likelihood of turning the enemy himself into a grenade.

Some of the energy weapons can turn your opponents into superheated gas inside their armor, it then explodes.

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




Night10194 posted:

That can also happen. The 40k RPGs are not especially well made mechanically, probably a legacy of the system not originally being FFG's system and FFG having a very different design philosophy from the people who made the original, but being stuck with it.

I'm in the minority in thinking they actually got worse as the series progressed because the patches and fixes and attempts to kinda make it work just end up with this tortured mess, for me.
I have a hard time articulating this, but my main problem with the 40k RPG system is that it seems really detail-oriented for a setting where so many of the characters are seven shades of badass. It's the 40k equivalent to TSR's Marvel Super Heroes, which tries to objectively measure the difference in Thor and Hulk's max bench press, and was outdone by Marvel Heroic Roleplaying as a system which actually emulates the feel of a comic book narrative.

Dark Heresy's system works well enough for its characters, but when the same system is used to model rogue traders and Space Marines, the dozens of skills and feats and the fiddly quibbly differences between a bolter and a meltagun get real old, real fast. I get that anyone playing a 40K RPG probably wants gear porn, but for contrast, Fragged Empire makes a far less fussy job of adding meaningful bells and whistles to sci-fi weapons.

Like I don't need a bunch of tables to convey that my dude's gun was made on a planet entirely devoted to making those guns, using ancient lost technology that survives only as religious ritual, by stunted slaves who have their eyes gouged out at birth and learn to machine gun parts in the dark, and are made to scream "praise to the Emperor" over and over as they are savagely beaten daily for the slightest mistakes, who eat only the powdered remains of dead fellow gunsmiths, and whose last act is the privilege of being pistol-whipped to death by one of the guns they made because the ammo is too expensive to waste on them, then the gun is consecrated to the Emprah with their blood, add another +1 to damage for each line of fascism porno.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Halloween Jack posted:

I have a hard time articulating this, but my main problem with the 40k RPG system is that it seems really detail-oriented for a setting where so many of the characters are seven shades of badass. It's the 40k equivalent to TSR's Marvel Super Heroes, which tries to objectively measure the difference in Thor and Hulk's max bench press, and was outdone by Marvel Heroic Roleplaying as a system which actually emulates the feel of a comic book narrative.

Dark Heresy's system works well enough for its characters, but when the same system is used to model rogue traders and Space Marines, the dozens of skills and feats and the fiddly quibbly differences between a bolter and a meltagun get real old, real fast. I get that anyone playing a 40K RPG probably wants gear porn, but for contrast, Fragged Empire makes a far less fussy job of adding meaningful bells and whistles to sci-fi weapons.

Like I don't need a bunch of tables to convey that my dude's gun was made on a planet entirely devoted to making those guns, using ancient lost technology that survives only as religious ritual, by stunted slaves who have their eyes gouged out at birth and learn to machine gun parts in the dark, and are made to scream "praise to the Emperor" over and over as they are savagely beaten daily for the slightest mistakes, who eat only the powdered remains of dead fellow gunsmiths, and whose last act is the privilege of being pistol-whipped to death by one of the guns they made because the ammo is too expensive to waste on them, then the gun is consecrated to the Emprah with their blood, add another +1 to damage for each line of fascism porno.

This is a result of the original being made to be Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay 2e In Space With Space Ratcatchers and then given to a company that would prefer The Astounding Adventures of Killfuck Soulshitter and His God Smashers, as I said. So you've got the old fiddly system but they try to use it to get into the over-the-top stuff and it just ends up a mess of rocket tag, patched together rules, lovely advancement systems, and broken gear.

The other bigger thing is, if you remember my (I know, incomplete) review of WHFRP2e there *wasn't much room to differentiate gear* in that game. The system stuck to a single d10 (rerolled if your weapon was very powerful) plus a flat modifier against your enemy's flat DR, for instance, and a single point up or down in damage actually was a big deal. Then you get into 40kRP and they want to sell books full of gear porn, but the original system really doesn't handle equipment variance well, so you end up with all kinds of 'This one shots any PC' and 'This one shots any PC harder' and 'This might not ONE SHOT a PC but it hits 20 people a turn' stuff to try to justify writing different equipment. 40kRP is a huge mess.

E: I'm also not really trying to say either style of play is superior (though I admit I enjoyed Space Ratcatchers more in the setting, myself). The real issue is just that Killfuck and Percy the Ratcatcher need different systems that emphasize different things and trying to play Killfuck in Percy's game system just ends up in crazytown.

Night10194 fucked around with this message at 21:42 on Aug 2, 2016

Lightning Lord
Feb 21, 2013

$200 a day, plus expenses



Is Fragged Empires a light game with a robust loot system? Been looking for a good system for a game of science fantasy scavengers.

Comrade Koba
Jul 2, 2007





Night10194 posted:

The Astounding Adventures of Killfuck Soulshitter

This needs to be a published supplement, right now.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Comrade Koba posted:

This needs to be a published supplement, right now.

They called it Black Crusade, but it already is.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




I'm actually really surprised that FFG didn't use its WFRP 3e/Star Wars dice for the second edition of Dark Heresy. I guess there would have been grog revolt if they took out too many percentile rolls.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


wiegieman posted:

I'm actually really surprised that FFG didn't use its WFRP 3e/Star Wars dice for the second edition of Dark Heresy. I guess there would have been grog revolt if they took out too many percentile rolls.

They tried altering the system and writing a new one and oh boy, was there ever a revolt.

There were plenty of flaws in the new system too, mind. But the outcry was enough to go back to Only War but Now With The Inquisition.

Tasoth
Dec 12, 2011


Halloween Jack posted:

Like I don't need a bunch of tables to convey that my dude's gun was made on a planet entirely devoted to making those guns, using ancient lost technology that survives only as religious ritual, by stunted slaves who have their eyes gouged out at birth and learn to machine gun parts in the dark, and are made to scream "praise to the Emperor" over and over as they are savagely beaten daily for the slightest mistakes, who eat only the powdered remains of dead fellow gunsmiths, and whose last act is the privilege of being pistol-whipped to death by one of the guns they made because the ammo is too expensive to waste on them, then the gun is consecrated to the Emprah with their blood, add another +1 to damage for each line of fascism porno.

I never knew how much I wanted Dwarf Fortress in SPAAACE until I read this post.

bewilderment
Nov 22, 2007
man what





Default Settings posted:

I've been asked by a friend to run a game that "doesn't involve non-violent communication, which is making me aggressive" (she's currently studying to be a teacher).

So I wondered: Which is the most brutal, most graphically violent pen-and-paper RPG* you guys know?





* don't even mention loving FATAL

3:16 - Carnage Amongst the Stars is basically Starship Troopers: The Movie: The RPG.
You have only two main stats at character creation, from which everything else is defined: Fighting Ability, and Non-Fighting Ability.
Damage is measured in 'kills'. e.g. a machine gun kills d20ish aliens per round.

It's pretty great.

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




3:16 is also not completely a game about killing all the aliens everywhere, but what kind of people willingly (or not so willingly) seek out a career fighting aliens. Notably, the only real end for a campaign of it is to turn on the Earth that cast you out and destroy it, before destroying yourselves.

bewilderment
Nov 22, 2007
man what





wiegieman posted:

3:16 is also not completely a game about killing all the aliens everywhere, but what kind of people willingly (or not so willingly) seek out a career fighting aliens. Notably, the only real end for a campaign of it is to turn on the Earth that cast you out and destroy it, before destroying yourselves.

Hey now, it's also possible for the newly promoted Brigadier to come to this conclusion faster than anyone else, and then just detonate The Device in the likeliest looking galaxy sector before the inevitable mutiny starts rolling (planet of aliens that are genuinely a threat? aliens that are clearly no threat whatsoever? cluster of peaceful planets?).

wiegieman
Apr 22, 2010

Royalty is a continuous cutting motion




bewilderment posted:

Hey now, it's also possible for the newly promoted Brigadier to come to this conclusion faster than anyone else, and then just detonate The Device in the likeliest looking galaxy sector before the inevitable mutiny starts rolling (planet of aliens that are genuinely a threat? aliens that are clearly no threat whatsoever? cluster of peaceful planets?).

Earth is flawed. Earth casts out its protectors. Earth is perfect. For this, Earth must die.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy


Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.





CHAPTER FOUR, PART ONE

BERLIN, 1950


The river Spree runs through the ruined city. Restoration and rebuilding are the big industries of Berlin and the citizens are trying to keep their heads up and keep things together. A lot of apartments are occupied again at the cost of abandoned homes, office buildings and local businesses remaining empty or destroyed. The roads are being rebuilt but the U-Bahn (underground rails) and the S-Bahn (aboveground) are open for mass transit, shipping and travel. However, the U-Bahn is not a safe place to be on foot. The sewers and tunnels are inhabited by all sorts of beings left over from experiments and theirs is a desperate existence of hunger and hiding.

The East and the West haven’t been divided by the Wall yet but there’s a cultural wall. West Berlin uses the Deutsche Mark, East uses the Ostmark. Going East requires you to exchange currency 1:1 despite the fact that on the black market 5-10 Ostmarks go for 1 Deutsche Mark. The East is Communist, industrial, controlled by the USSR. The West is being rebuilt by the Allies and is working towards a capitalist system. Every day the halves of the city diverge more and more.



Berlin, Underground

There are two undergrounds: the black market and the literal underground. Both are home to things hiding after the war. A lot of people who work in the black market are ordinary people driven to survive, selling old surplus stock and information for food and money. The information trade is quickly growing to be the big business as the lines are drawn for the Cold War. Alternately, the underground is a collection of abandoned army bases, sewer tunnels, bomb shelters. The two overlap, with monsters living underground in the same places that regular citizens plunder lost goods from.

Notable Places

The Anhalter Bahnhof:
The AB Station is an abandoned railway station left to rot after a nasty bombing campaign left it ruined. It’s left to the Alternatives, STs and Incursors and openly rotting and collapsing. There’s a lot of open water accumulating only exacerbating the growing sinkholes and collapsing masonry. There is, however, a big draw to the area: an abandoned, sealed air-raid shelter that nobody has entered yet.

The Flak Towers: Three flak towers were built for the war in Tiergarten-Zoo, Freidrichshain and Humbolthain. Only the Humbolthain tower is still standing; all of them are partially destroyed and collapsed but Humbolthain the least. The STs are drawn to the ruins for reasons unknown.

RPA HQ: RPA HQ is in the Kammergericht which was theoretically left empty after Russia left the Allies to run East Berlin. The Berlin Safety Air Center takes up less than 10% of the building and the rest is abandoned…except for the basement. The basement is home to the RPA, heavily secured and packing enough space for the force and some offices too. They’re a bit cramped, but they’re just enough out of the way to hide their activities.

Spandau Prison: Originally built for hundreds, Spandau Prison is home to just seven prisoners now. They’re all high-ranking members of the Third Reich: Donitz, Funk, Hess, Speer, Raeder, von Neurath and von Schirach. The four major nations each spend three months controlling the prison and watching the prisoners. It’s not a hard job (there are four fences keeping the prisoners in and machine gun towers manned 24/7) because these are bunch of bad men rendered somewhat harmless by the nature of their captivity. This doesn’t stop the prison from being a magnet for strangeness. The RPA has interrogated the prisoners about odd topics in the past and they’ve been known to venture into the tunnels beneath the prison to explore. There are also rumors of an eighth prisoner.

The Virus House: First the Kaiser Wilhelm Institut, now the Max Planck Institut, the Virus House is where Nazi Germany tried to crack the secrets of the atom. This didn’t pan out, but the projects much weirder than the atom bomb paid off for Germany in the facility’s secret testing zones. The Virus House was a major fixture of the Nazi’s production of Twisted Technology; a lot of experiments on reanimating the dead were performed here and so were most of the tests for the machines that summoned Incursors. Most of them no longer remain, not since the Red Army occupied the facility in 1945 and ransacked the building for technology and data. But there are still things that remain in the place that made them, creatures and beings that need to be dealt with or laid to rest.

NOTABLE ORGANIZATIONS

Intelligence Organizations

British Experimental Rocket Bureau:
The BERB are run by a man who calls himself The Professor, so you know they’re a sane bunch. They operate out of Porton Down and Spadeadam with their main headquarters in Porton Down. So why are a bunch of non-military British rocket scientists here in Berlin? They’re friendly with the British military and as a result they have first dibs for analyzing recovered Twisted Technology and as a result some RPA agents report directly to them. The British government keeps BERB’s research out of the public eye for two reasons: national security and the fact that they have been experimenting in Britain using Waffen POWs. If this was to get out, there would be major consequences for England.


Central Intelligence Agency: The Company is in its infancy and its main job is to counter Soviet activities in Germany. They’re working on starting the great American spy ring in Europe and to that end they’re funding the Gehlen Org (see below). From what they’ve heard of Twisted Technology and the RPA, they believe that the RPA should be subverted to frustrate acquisition efforts for every country that isn’t named America. They’re not fond of the other American presence in Germany, the USAF’s 515, considering them to be idiot amateur spies.


Gehlen Org: Reinhard Gehlen was the former chief of the Wehrmacht’s intelligence efforts. Now he runs Gehlen Org, a spy ring dedicated to relaying information on Germany back to the Western Allies. Behind the legitimate business ventures funding the whole operation is the fact that a lot of the spies are notorious ex-Gestapo or ex-SS. The main reason they’re allowed to function without facing the music is because they feed East Germany and USSR intelligence back to the CIA and they’re not ready to let them hang yet. They’re interested in the RPA due to Soviet interests. Also, if the RPA fails, they’re top dog and the CIA money will keep flowing.


Gosudarstvennoye Komitet-11: GK-11 (State Committee 11) is a Soviet government agency that doesn’t seem to answer to anyone. They do, in fact, have a boss: Josef Stalin himself and Stalin’s top committee members. GK-11 is responsible for the experimentation by Twisted Technology taken from the GRU and other intelligence groups. As a result, Soviet intel doesn’t really like GK-11 for taking their spoils and gaining praise from results. But they’re incredibly powerful, running multiple top-secret facilities like Pripyat in the Ukraine and Krasnoyarsk-14, a closed city. GK-11 also owns gulags containing extracted Nazi scientists working in labs for them. Rumor has it that GK-11 has also taken Japanese scientists from the notorious (in real life and in-game) Unit 731. The other Soviet intel groups have taken to calling GK-11 “Koschei” as a code name, for good reason.


Glavnoye Razvedyvatel'noye Upravleniye: GRU (Main Intelligence Directorate) is the USSR’s military intelligence group, specifically working to bolster the preparedness of the Russian military. The GRU is famous for infiltrating other groups in their home countries. They believe that Twisted Technology could be a boon for their armed forces, but ever since they set up Projekt-303 and got the lion’s share of all of it for Russia they’ve been ignored for GK-11 and MGB (see below). The GRU might do something ruthless to be the best again.


Ministerstvo Gosudarstvennoi Bezopasnosti: The MGB is the replacement for Russia’s NKGB, acting to collect foreign intelligence, suppression of counter-revolutionaries and spying within the USSR. They’re the boogeyman to the Russian people when they’re not infiltrating foreign governments and trying to stir up Communist sympathizers. The MGB has the most fingers in the pie of the RPA and the GRU and GK-11 hate them for that. Their main goal is to gently caress over the involvement of the GRU and GK-11 and make them look bad.


Service de Documentation Exterieure et de Contre-Espionnage Departement B: SDECE-B is a branch out of the SDECE (which focuses on military and civilian intelligence during the war for France). B deals with Twisted Technology and they’re a motley crew. Everyone onboard has had an experience with Twisted Technology, so they recruit POWs and soldiers and spies and Vichy collaborators. They don’t particularly all love each other and they don’t quite agree what to do. Some of the top (especially military) believe that Twisted Technology is the key to French supremacy and stopping this from ever happening again. Others have had more direct experiences with Twisted Technology and want every single piece destroyed. The latter group has been secretly sabotaging French experiments being performed at the ex-concentration camp of Natzweiler-Struthof in the Vosges mountain range.


Secret Intelligence Services: The SIS (MI-6 to others) is mostly made up of Churchill-appointed Special Operation Executive members, previously responsible for sabotaging German efforts during the war. The SOE side of the SIS is tough and resourceful and the group has benefitted from them as a whole. As a result, they firmly believe that Twisted Technology should be catalogued, contained and buried to help protect Britain from future superweapons. They have a less-than-friendly relationship with the BERB, thinking they’re playing with a fire they don’t know enough about. The SIS doesn’t directly work with the RPA as much as other groups, focusing on working without it and directly countering their hated rivals in the MGB.


USAF 515th Intelligence Wing: Located in a shack outside of the Tempelhof Airbase, the 515th is made up of soldiers and scientists who were involved in Strangle, Paperclip and other extraction/recovery efforts. Their main job is to extract the rest of the Twisted Technology from Berlin and interrogate people defecting to the USA. They're starting to have more of an intelligence and espionage focus and that's annoying the CIA who are working on discrediting them. In turn, the 515th is working on actually recovering technology and intel.


Military Organizations

British Army Berlin Brigade:
Three battalions that are headquartered at Lancaster House in Wilmersdorff along with a post outside of Spandau Prison. Their main job is to find and recover intel and Twisted Technology and get them back to Britain. They have armor, artillery and air support.


Forces Francais a Berlin: The French Forces in Berlin are in possession of Tegel Airport and Quartier Napoleon. They're infantry with more of a focus on engineers and military police. Their main goal is to destroy Twisted Technology and burn any intelligence or papers on it.


United States Army Berlin Military Post: Centered outside of Tempelhof, the USABMP is also infantry with more of a mix of jobs and groups. Their main job is to observe and analyze the monsters and compile reports.


Police Organizations

Ministry for State Security:
The Stasi are young, very young. They were only formed in February of 1950 but they're quickly working on infiltrating everyone and everything in East Berlin. The Stasi is not yet aware about what the RPA is up to and they're chomping at the bit to infiltrate them.


Der Volkspolizei: The VoPos are made up of military vets who are sworn members of The Party in East Berlin, predominantly focusing on actual crime and police duties. They underwent a political purge in 1949 and are thoroughly loyal to the USSR, working closely with the Stasi to stop crimes while the Stasi monitors for trouble.


THE RPA-DC

The Directorate Committee of the RPA is made up of five NPCs, each representing a country with a stake in the RPA. RPA officers get their assignments and duties directly from members of the DC and because everyone on the DC has their own agenda, this can lead to political maneuvering and backstabbing.

Magda Bremmer: Bremmer is the German representative who started off as a translator in 1946 for America in a covert signals division. When her division was responsible for coordinating an extraction of Twisted Technology that resulted in a bunch of American soldiers becoming altered, Magda agreed to keep her mouth shut. Finding her to be loyal and secretive enough, the Americans pushed for Magda to be brought in as an advisor for the RPA representing Germany.

Magda is officially just an advisor but unofficially she's seen enough and done enough to be considered a proper member of the Directorate Committee. All she wants is for Berlin to be rebuilt and for Germany to move on (and for the civilians to not know about the Reich's experiments). She wants to use the RPA to protect the people of Berlin.


Major Jean Coubertin: Jean is the French representative, a Captain from the French army who came from Breton origins as a farmer's son. Because France is more focused on rebuilding, Jean has the freedom to do what he wishes. What he wishes is to finish this whole affair and get France to withdraw from Germany, so he focuses on making sure agents and civilians are safe while quickly wrapping everything up.

Jean is generally well-liked by officers. He's a laid-back simple man with a deep love of all things English and a belief in doing what's right for other people. To that end, he is a secret Communist spy (something the Russian representative doesn't even know) but a romantic sort of Communist. He doesn't see himself as a traitor, just as a person trying to do good and help people.


Lt. Col. Arkady Kazakov: Arkady is an officer from the Red Army put in a position he hates. He takes orders from the MGB and his main job is to pass intelligence and information back to them. To that end, he carries around a briefcase that is actually a recorder and will try to wheedle snippets of information out of people. There's not much to Arkady; he's a military man, he's not much of a political person and he ignores any questions he doesn't want to answer. He didn't want to do any of this, but he's not about to rock the boat by not doing his job.


Major Joseph Spiegelmann: Joseph represents the USA, a signals officer for the Marines who served in the Pacific theater. Joseph graduated from MIT with a degree in Electrical Engineering. As a result, he's the most technical of all of the representatives. He was chosen for the job because he had no personal stake or experience in the Eastern front but as a result people are confused by his election, thinking he's too far removed. His main job is to probe Twisted Technology to uncover secrets.

Joseph is a man of bias. He's biased against the Germans because of what he knows about Twisted Technology and the experiments and genocide at the heart of the Third Reich. He's polite but distant to the French and British. To Americans and Russians, he's friendly and jovial. This confuses Soviet spies, thinking he's up to something. The main reason he's friend is because Joseph has secret socialist leanings; he's not a Communist but he does support a few of their ideas.


The Honorable Myles Wright: Myles is British as all hell. He loves to smoke, he wears a monocle and tweed and many people view him as a bumbling upper crust type. Myles is fine with letting people feel this way; in actuality he was a paratrooper that dropped a few times into France to help train the Resistance and that cunning and tenacity still remains. As a result he cultivates this image by nipping at drinks and telling rambling stories. In essence, he is frustratingly British.

Myles' main job is to get Britain out of Germany to help save money. All of the cloak and dagger skullduggery is a financial drain on Britain's recovering economy. The British government doesn't care if all loose ends are tied up, they just want the job completed and the RPA disbanded. This is a job Myles is more than willing to do.


CREATURES AND EXPERIMENTS

This is not a comprehensive list of enemies created by Twisted Technology, these are just some examples. It's not hard to design your own monster or enemy.

The Alternatives

The Alternatives were Germany's attempt to create supermen. Despite being technical successes on paper, they were terrible failures in execution. The Alternatives draw from a wide pool: scientists who got too invested in the ritual, volunteered Heer soldiers, camp prisoners, political dissidents. The Alternatives are no longer completely human. Some aspect of their transformation has sundered their minds and souls, creating pitiful survivors with mental disorders and scars that will never heal. There are some who try to slip back into society, but there's a disconnect now, especially amongst the ones who ended up more monstrous than the rest.

Die Hollenhunde: The Hellhounds were an attempt to weaponize animals and create unstoppable fighters from the toughest and biggest dogs. Their teeth were removed and replaced with solid steel fangs and the rest of their body was tortured with drugs, training and pain. Why did they never see battle? Well, when you take an animal, torture it ceaselessly and augment it, it doesn't like to be controlled and it won't listen to orders. When the war wound down, the Hellhounds were destroyed or simply released to fend for themselves. There are only a few in Berlin, hiding during the day and hunting at night, but they're very hard to kill or stop. The big advantage over them is that they're animals and that there aren't many of them. They don't seem to be interested in breeding, just hunting and killing.


Die Nachwachter: The Night Watchmen were an attempt to create soldiers that could operate in perfect darkness. Superficially, they're human from the neck down. Their heads have unnaturally large eyes, concave ears and large mouths. These changes have given them amazing night vision and echolocation, turning them into peerless night hunters. The big downside? Insane light sensitivity and an aversion to loud noises; their ear canals were augmented to basically shut and muffle offending sounds but it wasn't perfect. The noise aversion and inability to withstand sunlight lead to the Nazis scrapping the project and the remaining Night Watchmen live underground, eating vermin and food they can scavenge. Most Night Watchmen are still capable of thought and reasoning and they hate their lives. Night Watchmen are good for pitiable humanoid enemies that may require a measure of sympathy and thinking past your orders.


The Incursors


Profile of a ST. The text reads "with an insanity born of desperation, the thoroughly mad scientists discovered a way to re-animate the dead".

The Incursors were brought to our world by terrible machines that tore holes in space or simply plucked things from other realms. The machines are off or destroyed, but the Incursors remain. Some of them no longer require machines, some of them are just trapped. There's a fear that the barrier between realities has been permanently cracked and that other things can come through, things that were never brought over by the Nazis or invited. Incursors have no sort of uniformity and tend to be solitary; they may not even be capable of thought by human standards.

Der Musikant: The Music Maker is a floating, shimmering sphere with a surface that ripples with spikes and protrusions. It's accompanied by a sort of otherworldly singing that is the crux of its power. Everyone responds differently to hearing its wordless song: catatonia, madness, peaceful sleep. It was originally captured and a machine was jury-rigged to try and send it back to where it came from. But the team that sent it away disappeared after retirement, and there's strange music that still comes from the U-Bahn. It's unclear if there's another Music Maker or if it didn't work, but either way there are reports of people going out at night and being found comatose in the streets the next morning.


Der Weber: The Weaver is a living collection of legs and feelers trailed by skin and hair. The Weaver doesn't seem to have any sort of human intelligence, behaving like an animal that only targets things that enter its environment. What the Weaver does is, well, weave: it takes humans, trash, animals and "sculpts" them in a fatal process that binds the components together and creates "statutes". The RPA knows about the Weaver mostly because they haven't been able to injure or subdue it yet. A curious result of their attacks has been that the Weaver is actually somewhat afraid of RPA agents, always fleeing when cornered.


The STs

The STs differ from the other entities in that they're all uniform. The Dead are made from corpses put on a slab, pumped with volatile liquids that preserve the flesh and help keep the body together and finally a collection of electrodes is inserted into the base of the skull to shock the body back to life. They're hardy in a fight...but they're not particularly fast or smart. The Dead were actually fielded near the end of the war, sent to fight the Russians on the Eastern front and lead by SS Officers trained to handle them. It failed miserably; the Russian firepower was indiscriminate and numerous enough to blast a corpse to bits like a living soldier. Most Russian soldiers have no idea what was downwind from the firing lines.

The STs remain, but their reanimation treatment only last so long. They're rotting in the sewers and undergrounds of Berlin; the less intelligent are drawn to old military installations and the more intelligent are horrified of what they've become and hide. They die for good once they rot to the bone or their electrodes fail, whichever comes first.


BEYOND BERLIN

Krasnoyarsk-14:
K-14 has no official name as a closed city, simply named for its location in Siberia (14th district of the Krasnoyarsk area, it's a postal code). Projekt-303 has made K-14 the biggest depository for Twisted Technology on the Eurasian continent, possibly the whole word. GK-11 controls K-14 and not even other Soviet intelligence groups are allowed inside thanks to their ties to Stalin. The facility is an enormous lure for the intelligence communities of the world; the frozen city is surrounded by electrified fences, minefields, barbed wire and surveillance towers, the city's power plant is massive for the city's size and occasionally there are seismic readings that are picked up emanating from the area.


Montauk/Camp Hero: Montauk Air Force Station/Camp Hero is located in Long Island, New York. It served as a coastal defense station in both World Wars and officially it's been shut down and sealed. Unofficially, the US Navy brings researchers, personnel and equipment in by submarine to keep up the illusion of abandonment as the American government researches Twisted Technology. There's a lot of rumors about what goes on at Montauk: brainwashing, surgical techniques, generating strange new forms of energy to be harnessed. The biggest project at Montauk is researching the means by which the machines called forth the Incursors and this program gets precedence.


Natzweiler-Struthof: Previously mentioned, NS is located in the Vosges Mountains between France and Germany. The concentration camp was controlled by the Ahnenerbe, Heinrich Himmler's "research society" dedicated to the archaeological exploration of a master race that never existed. Eventually, the Ahnenerbe became as bloodthirsty and cruel as the rest of the Nazis. Their activities at NS were geared towards supplementary ST research. It took specific chemicals to make STs and those required giant chemical plants, but what if they could turn a living person into mind-wiped killing machine? The goal was to break people into living robots that knew no fear or pain and could be turned into sleeper agent weapons of terror, but the Nazis failed. Unfortunately, the French have looked into the research left in their backyard by their tormentors and a group of the military have started the experiments again (this time on POWs and SS captives). The main purpose of continuing is for medical purposes, but...


Ohrdruf: Ohrdruf was the first concentration camp liberated by American forces. Eisenhower himself (a general at the time) visited the camp to inspect the atrocities. As it turned out, Ohrdruf was connected to a nearby valley via underground tunnels. Within those tunnels, the US Army found an underground vault with an intact lab whose sole purpose was to create Alternatives; this same camp was used to create the Night Watchmen. The entire area is under Russian control now and the camp's tunnels have been sealed or destroyed. But Russia refuses to let people into the area, and there are still rumors of explosions and nuclear weapons testing. Who knows if there is anything left in the sealed facility?


Ploesti: Located in Romania, Ploesti supplied Germany with plenty of oil and diesel for Nazi vehicles. The refinement facilities were also perfect for creating the chemicals used to animate the STs and they sent tankers full of chemicals in addition to the oil. However, through sheer luck on the Allies' parts, the bombing campaigns of Operation Tidal Wave resulted in the destruction of the creation tanks. The facilities could be repaired, but their stocks of volatile chemicals were destroyed. So the Nazis were forced to send their reserves to the Eastern front, thinking they needed the STs more than they would to fight in the west. This lucky break lead to the invasion forces of the west never running up against the STs and accidentally crippling production of their enemy's experimental weapons. But now Romania is Communist and quite friendly with the USSR, and GK-11 has infiltrated the refinement plants through advising the Romanian government. The chemicals are being produced once more.


Porton Down: Previously mentioned, Porton Down is controlled by the BERB in England. Already in use for rocket experimentation, a new bunker wing was added to contain Britain's stash of Twisted Technology. And unfortunately, some of the researchers have gone a bit native in their experimentation and research. The site is completely sealed and insular, making things very uneasy through the members of the BERB as they try to do their job without delving too deep. If anything gets out, Britain's reputation abroad and locally could be irreversibly tarnished.


I really like the premade groups and the NPCs; a lot of them feel organic or useful for hooks and play. Reading this book has actually taught me a bit more than I knew about Germany after World War II. It does suffer a bit from "everyone is doing bad things!" but I really do like that the USSR's efforts are hindered by awful infighting and there's a strong moral center to France that is just like "nope, break it all". I'm willing to ultimately forgive it because the other countries weren't there for the creation process, they've stumbled in after the fact and are poking things they don't understand that could do something important. It's just that as the readers, we're privy to knowing the truth.

NEXT TIME: Chapter 4-2, the five premade missions and probably chapter 5, the appendices.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Hostile V posted:

British Experimental Rocket Bureau: The BERB are run by a man who calls himself The Professor, so you know they’re a sane bunch. They operate out of Porton Down and Spadeadam with their main headquarters in Porton Down. So why are a bunch of non-military British rocket scientists here in Berlin? They’re friendly with the British military and as a result they have first dibs for analyzing recovered Twisted Technology and as a result some RPA agents report directly to them. The British government keeps BERB’s research out of the public eye for two reasons: national security and the fact that they have been experimenting in Britain using Waffen POWs. If this was to get out, there would be major consequences for England.


Hahaha, awesome, a Quartermass reference.

Hostile V
May 30, 2013

Solving all of life's problems through enhanced casting of Occam's Razor. Reward yourself with an imaginary chalice.



Young Freud posted:

Hahaha, awesome, a Quartermass reference.
Fun fact: there's a typo in the book that calls them the BERG in the write-up of Porton Down. I ended up googling BERB and it turns out the author's had to change BERG to BERB after there was a light threat of litigation in regards to Quartermass.

Young Freud
Nov 25, 2006



Hostile V posted:

Fun fact: there's a typo in the book that calls them the BERG in the write-up of Porton Down. I ended up googling BERB and it turns out the author's had to change BERG to BERB after there was a light threat of litigation in regards to Quartermass.

Nigel Kneale was super-litigious about his IP, going so far as threaten the Goon Show for their Professor Quite-A-Mess parody, so it doesn't surprise that the estate continues that tradition.

Kavak
Aug 23, 2009




I love the variety of tones you can take with this, from slightly reflavored espionage stories to Delta Green to full blown Nazi Zombies.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDtDKuOGE40

Crasical
Apr 22, 2014

GG!*
*GET GOOD


Halloween Jack posted:

fascism porno.

These two words elegantly sum up why I'm completely sick of 40k.

In particular, why I'm sick of a certain type of online tabletop game board poster who the franchise creates, who peppers their speech with 'Heresy' 'Traitor' and 'Purge' and parrots the 'kill the mutant/heretic/alien/other' slogan of the Imperium any chance they get, and tries to jam the philosophy into completely inappropriate settings.

Yeah, buddy, it's sure edgy that you think we should purge all the elves and dwarves as inhuman scum. You're really a mature and cool individual. I'm glad you came to enlighten us about how all aliens need to be executed via flamethrower in our Star-Trek style scifi setting.

Thank you for the phrase, I'm filing it away for later.
Sorry for venting in the thread.

gradenko_2000
Oct 5, 2010



Lipstick Apathy

40k is basically Poe's Law: The Game, much like how Starship Troopers is Poe's Law: The Movie

Nessus
Dec 22, 2003

To witness titanic events is always dangerous, usually painful, and often fatal.





Default Settings posted:

I've been asked by a friend to run a game that "doesn't involve non-violent communication, which is making me aggressive" (she's currently studying to be a teacher).

So I wondered: Which is the most brutal, most graphically violent pen-and-paper RPG* you guys know?

* don't even mention loving FATAL
WWWRPG. Everything is aggressive and leads to the ring. All problems are settled with violence in the squared circle.

Night10194
Feb 13, 2012

We'll start,
like many good things,
with a bear.


Crasical posted:

These two words elegantly sum up why I'm completely sick of 40k.

In particular, why I'm sick of a certain type of online tabletop game board poster who the franchise creates, who peppers their speech with 'Heresy' 'Traitor' and 'Purge' and parrots the 'kill the mutant/heretic/alien/other' slogan of the Imperium any chance they get, and tries to jam the philosophy into completely inappropriate settings.

Yeah, buddy, it's sure edgy that you think we should purge all the elves and dwarves as inhuman scum. You're really a mature and cool individual. I'm glad you came to enlighten us about how all aliens need to be executed via flamethrower in our Star-Trek style scifi setting.

Thank you for the phrase, I'm filing it away for later.
Sorry for venting in the thread.

Eh, I feel the same. I used to enjoy writing in the setting sometimes myself, but it's just so boring after awhile.

Like, once you notice you're almost entirely using your own material because the actual stuff is just stupid and awful as hell, at that point it's time to just write/play in a different setting.

Adbot
ADBOT LOVES YOU

Halloween Jack
Sep 11, 2003

Let your word be "Yes, Yes" or "No, No"; anything more than this comes from the evil one.




And if you want to play fascism porno, just take my advice and use Marvel Heroic Roleplaying to play out more Marvel movies.

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • Post
  • Reply